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Govt of National Unity: ANPP splits

Posted by By JACOB EDI, Abuja on 2007/07/01 | Views: 357 |

Govt of National Unity: ANPP splits


The cracks in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) widened further on Tuesday as the party’s leadership and its presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari exchanged words over the meeting a delegation of the party held with a team from the President Umar Musa Yar’Adua government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the formation of government of national unity.

The cracks in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) widened further on Tuesday as the party’s leadership and its presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari exchanged words over the meeting a delegation of the party held with a team from the President Umar Musa Yar’Adua government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the formation of government of national unity.

The ANPP had said that there was nothing wrong with a meeting with the government, while The Buhari Organization said some people in the party had sold out.
National Publicity Secretary of the ANPP, Mr. Emmanuel Eneukwu, said there was nothing wrong with the position of the party even though the presidential candidate does not buy the idea.

He explained that the party could not have rejected an invitation from President Yar’Adua inasmuch as it was meant for the two groups to meet minds on how to move the nation forward, which, he said, was one of the ideals of the party.

According to Eneukwu, "we are all Nigerians. Why should we just dismiss such invitation? We are not slaves; we are all working towards the same goal. Gen Buhari may not like the idea but the party decides."

He said that that the team raised by the party to meet the president was mandated to give conditions for any discussions. Some of the conditions, according to him, were the review of some contracts awarded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the twilight of his administration, as well as review of the electoral law.

On his part, Deputy Chairman of the Publicity Committee of The Buhari Organization, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said that Gen. Buhari was opposed to the meeting because the purpose was just to share positions to ANPP members so as to forget the injustices the last elections represented.
He explained that it had happened before when the key executive members of the opposition, including their chairmen, were co-opted by the ruling party and given positions, adding that the same situation is about to play out.

"What they are doing is to consolidate one party state. The ruling party took on this sordid faux pas in 1999", Okechukwu added.
The meeting between the Yar’Adua government team and leaders of opposition party, which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Tuesday was to prepare grounds for a government of national unity, which would include the opposition parties, especially those that won some seats in the last general elections.

The meeting had in attendance Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, who led the Action Congress (AC) delegation made up of Chief Audu Ogbeh, Alhaji Dalhatu Tafida, John Nwodo and Niyi Adebayo.
The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had Alhaji Saidu Kumo, Erekume Emma and John Odigie Oyegun as representatives.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan led the PDP team. Others are National Publicity Secretary, John Odey, Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara, Chief Bernard Eze; former deputy governor of Edo State, Mike Oghidome; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Taminu Kurfi, managing director of Federal Mortgage Bank.

It was learnt that part of the proposal dangled before the opposition were the possibility of some of them, who left the PDP for one reason or another returning to the party, withdrawal of the several court cases challenging Yar’Adua’s election as well as the possibility of some of them participating in the government.

Daily Sun also learnt that while the government is meeting with the opposition, the Alex Ekwueme committee will soon call a meeting of all the PDP founding fathers, who left the party but have not joined other political parties to open talks on how they would rejoin PDP.
After the opening ceremony of the meeting, the government and PDP team met with the parties separately.

It was learnt that Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) will meet with the PDP on Thursday.
Earlier at the opening ceremony, both Chief Ogbeh, who spoke on behalf of the AC and Chief Oyegun, who spoke for the ANPP, expressed appreciation that the Yar’Adua government had taken the step to talk with the opposition.

"We thank this administration for this meeting. This represents a new approach to the issues of governance and national politics in our country. We also believe that this comes from the belief on the situation you find yourself and administration. National politics is a contest between opposing parties and not conflict, and those who believe it is a conflict are the real enemies.

"The opposition are not enemies but partners. No athlete running alone on the track, no matter how fast, can declare himself a gold winner without a contest. Therefore, when we entered the last election it was not to compete or wage war against the government but to offer our own capabilities. Though events have come, it is the first step towards the healing process," Ogbeh stated.

He noted that there are quite some pains in the land and that his party would raise some issues when the real talks begin "which will bring final healings to the land and lead us to the path of economic prosperity, job creation and greater well being of the people because that is the objective of our governance and we pray to almighty God that great things will come out of this meeting."

Oyegun echoed Ogbeh’s comments and described the meeting as a unique opportunity to right the wrongs in the country. He praised Yar’Adua’s courage and wisdom to call the meeting but noted that the foundations of the Nigerian state are seriously fractured.

"I think it is a unique opportunity to believe that there must be little bit of honesty and sincerity and wisdom. It truly must be possible to put this nation finally on the road to greatness for which God himself destined it, but we need honesty; we need sincerity. We thank you for this opportunity. It is unique. We must not let it pass," he said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Vice President Jonathan, who led government’s team, noted that the need for all the major political parties to close ranks had become auspicious because of the challenges ahead. These, he said, include, Niger Delta crisis, national security, constitution amendment, electoral reform and need to move the nation ahead. He added that failure to do this will continue to undermine government’s efforts at nation building.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown